Young music group brightens Liberty Park

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SALT LAKE CITY -- A string quartet has found an unusual place to practice.

In between the screams of excitement at Liberty Park, if you listen carefully, you'll hear an unexpected sound -- the sound of a string quartet.

"It's unusual to have kids that young be able to play in this quartet," says Susan Wilcox, the leader of the Music From the Heart Children's Quartet.

Wilcox is a school teacher during the year. She also teaches private music lessons. She says the park is a perfect place to practice.

"Part of that is so that they won't be afraid of playing in front of other people," Wilcox says. "If they have to always know someone is listening, they don't get the jitters on stage."

Fifteen-year-old Elden Gardner is on the cello. He's been playing for four years.

Then there's brother-and-sister duo, Jacob and Julia Skowronek. At the age of three, Jacob was inspired by a movie to begin violin lessons.

Julia was inspired by her brother.

"When Jacob started to take lessons, I started to yell and scream every lesson 'I want to take violin! I want to take violin!'" she says.

Now the brother and sister are award-winning violinists, performing not just in parks but in big competitions.

Their teacher is thrilled. Every day she sees fewer and fewer kids exposed to music as programs are cut across the state.

"It's sad because there are a lot of kids that really need this to lift their hearts every day," Wilcox says. "They need the music and don't get it."

She says she hopes the sound of these strings will be an inspiration to others.



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